Ranchi, Sept. 26: Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) chairman Mani Shankar is hoping that the tide against him would subside soon, preventing his premature exit as environment watchdog.
He maintained that the ball was now in the Congress’s Delhi durbar while denying reports that he had already put in his resignation on September 19 before chief minister Hemant Soren.
“Though I paid courtesy visits to the chief minister many a times, but I haven’t given my resignation either verbally or in writing ever,” he said on the sidelines of a news conference this afternoon.
“I am very much in office and working with my full dedication,” he added.
Over two weeks ago, state party president Sukhdeo Bhagat demanded Shankar’s resignation as pollution control board chief with the tacit support from Congress general secretary in-charge of Jharkhand B.K. Hariprasad and Union minister Jairam Ramesh.
Myriad reasons — ranging from alleged corruption, non-compliance of eligibility criteria to compulsions of coalition politics — have been the “trigger” behind the move.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Shankar said, “I met my leaders in Delhi following the row over my resignation and presented everything in black and white. The are convinced that as per the set norms, no one in the present breed of politicians is eligible to assume the post. I am waiting to hear from Delhi,” he said.
As many as five MLAs are said to be eyeing the post of pollution board chief. According to sources, Congress MLA from Hazaribagh Saurabh Narain Singh was one of the early movers against Shankar.
Simultaneously, Nirsa MLA Arup Chatterjee (MCC), too, joined in the campaign to oust him. Independent MLA Anos Ekka (Jharkhand Party) has apparently submitted a written request to the chief minister, saying he should be made JSPCB chief.
Shankar, however, chose not to comment on the campaign engineered by some within his party.
“The work done by me since March is in front of you all. These things have not been done in the last 13 years. Everything is on lord Bholenath now. About corruption cases, no one has specified anything. Those are random allegations, ” he said.
Yesterday, JSPCB held a board meeting and banned advertisements on trees. Other decisions included computerisation of all pollution board offices and the central laboratory, and conducting a study on mobile tower radiation.
“Illegal ads and hoardings on trees are killing them. So, it was unanimously decided to ban it. This, including all others proposals is been sent to government for its final stamp,” he said.